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JanZverina

Fuel delivery issues on my '63 (401 no a/c)

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Would I need to change the ignition coil as well? I have the 40K Pertronix coil installed.

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Jan,

 

   I don't think so, BUT if you have the old one sitting around it for sure wouldn't hurt to try.

 

Maybe do some research on the subject to find out for sure, but I don't feel/think there would be a problem.

 

Tom T.

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Sounds like the prime suspect remains the carb.  

 

But, it may be helpful to attach a mechanics grade vacuum gauge

on a long hose and have it in the cockpit while replicating the symptoms you’ve described.

Ported and non-ported vacuum should be checked as part of the vacuum exercise; incl. vacuum advance function.

Bet this is in the Riviera shop manual....?

Vacuum advance mechanisms can bind and cause the bogging you describe at higher rpms and load.

Im assuming your rebuilder/mechanic would have done so.....?

 

Ive had a love /hate relationship with 4GCs for YEARs!  For ex., I Learned many years ago about the many variations for accelerator pumps on Buicks.  Stir in the advent of neoprene pump skirts (one size fits all 🤣...... not on Buicks) instead of the correct Rochester 

leather cups and you got problems.   

 

I finally reluctantly bagged my 4GCs and replaced with model correct Carter AFB on my 58 Roadmaster.  Trouble free for 30 years after that.

You may want to acquire one that is correct or close to correct for your 401..... and try it.

 

The following is an editorial comment:

 

Im to the point that my next Buick project will be a Holley Sniper Fuel injection system that fits under the stock air cleaner and integrates the MSD ignition control with their billet distributor.  I love the old stuff.........but, parts quality,availability, and expertise is becoming a limiting factor in enjoying the old cars....... In the end I just wanna drive the wheels off ‘em and not get caught out by

failing points,condensers, carb parts, coils, etc. etc.

 

my 2 cents😜

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I hadn't previously commented on this thread, as the OP stated he had a pertronix conversion, and generally pretty much a waste of time trying to fix a "carburetor problem" when there is an electronic whizback of questionable quality firing the gas.

 

Since another poster has suggested upgrading the ignition to the original points, I will throw in my two cents as well. 

 

The 4GC carburetor has several circuits. If the engine runs well at 45 MPH it is running on the main metering circuit(as opposed to idle). Other than load (a hill, or rapid acceleration), the main circuit is good up to almost maximum RPM. In other words, if the carb is OK at 45 MPH, it should also be good at 100 MPG (but accelerating slowly to get there). The car should run 100 MPH on the main circuit without the use of the power circuit.

 

I don't know what is the problem, but don't think it is the carburetor.

 

Possibles:

 

(1) ignition

(2) fuel delivery system (fuel pump)

(3) ignition

(4) fuel delivery system (small leak in fuel line, not enough to see, but sucking air and restricting fuel flow)

(5) ignition

(6) fuel delivery system (non-functioning fuel tank vent)

(7) ignition

(8) fuel filter

(9) did I mention ignition? ;)

 

Suggestion: if upgrading to a real ignition doesn't solve the issue, try borrowing a marine fuel tank for an outboard, and an electric fuel pump and connect directly to the carburetor. This would bypass any fuel delivery system issue. Once you have determined the culprit is either the ignition or the fuel delivery system, then easier to fix.

 

Jon.

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24 minutes ago, carbking said:

I hadn't previously commented on this thread, as the OP stated he had a pertronix conversion, and generally pretty much a waste of time trying to fix a "carburetor problem" when there is an electronic whizback of questionable quality firing the gas.

 

Since another poster has suggested upgrading the ignition to the original points, I will throw in my two cents as well. 

 

The 4GC carburetor has several circuits. If the engine runs well at 45 MPH it is running on the main metering circuit(as opposed to idle). Other than load (a hill, or rapid acceleration), the main circuit is good up to almost maximum RPM. In other words, if the carb is OK at 45 MPH, it should also be good at 100 MPG (but accelerating slowly to get there). The car should run 100 MPH on the main circuit without the use of the power circuit.

 

I don't know what is the problem, but don't think it is the carburetor.

 

Possibles:

 

(1) ignition

(2) fuel delivery system (fuel pump)

(3) ignition

(4) fuel delivery system (small leak in fuel line, not enough to see, but sucking air and restricting fuel flow)

(5) ignition

(6) fuel delivery system (non-functioning fuel tank vent)

(7) ignition

(8) fuel filter

(9) did I mention ignition? ;)

 

Suggestion: if upgrading to a real ignition doesn't solve the issue, try borrowing a marine fuel tank for an outboard, and an electric fuel pump and connect directly to the carburetor. This would bypass any fuel delivery system issue. Once you have determined the culprit is either the ignition or the fuel delivery system, then easier to fix.

 

Jon.

"Electronic whizback"....I like that....

Tom

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CarbKing brings up a good point on Pertronix............

Never used their stuff , so I’m NOT a hater, but,

Having spent a bunch of time at the Cadillac forums as well.......... a lot of 

stories over there that take a dim view of the reliability..... even many of the advocates are carrying a set of points

in the glove box to avoid the hook.

 

Cant wait to hear about the progress on this problem...... the older I get the more perverse pleasure I get from trying 

to shoot trouble thru an iPad.....!

 

 

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Latest update for those still following along:

  After eliminating any (or at least most) fuel tank and line issues by running a fuel hose from a 5-gallon container to the fuel pump inlet and still getting the same symptoms, I broke out my AAA Plus card yesterday and had the Riv flat-bedded to another shop that specializes in vintage car repair and is known for its electrical diagnostics. After a half-day of diagnostics, they concluded that the carb is still the culprit. Ignition system (including Pertronix), advance/timing, fuel pump and filter (both new), etc. all tested fine. He sourced another 4GC from a carb builder in LA who engine-tests all his carbs. The other option was getting an Edelbrock and then having to fabricate the linkages and get the massive Riviera air filter housing to fit properly.

   More news mid-next week. If it turns out that it was the first carb being rebuilt improperly or the rebuilder not noticing anything amiss or defective with the castings, I guess I have some options - the first one being a conversation with him regarding at least a partial refund. I've been back to him twice already - the first time when the carb was not getting any fuel whatsoever, and the second visit when I drove the car to his shop under hazardous conditions because of a 40 mph limit and uphill sputtering, and 5 1/2 hours later he was still insisting it wasn't in the carb. 

  Thanks again to all who have offered suggestions, procedures, and encouragement!        

 

P.S. I think I asked but I can't recall if I received an answer: On a '63 Riv, does the Carter AFB require a different intake manifold and linkage setup than the 4GC?

 

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The intake manifold NO.   AND,  IF I remember correctly NO on the linkage.  It SHOULD ALL crossover.  Maybe some minor adjustments is all.

 

Tom T.

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Eons ago the 4GC on my 63 was in need of a rebuild. At that time 1st generation Rivieras were still used cars and could be found in most salvage yards.  I pulled a Carter AFB from a 63 Riviera and put a cheap kit in it.  I got it from the owner as a "loaner" with the provision that I'd put the kit in the AFB, use it while I had the 4GC professionally rebuilt, and swap them back once the 4GC was rebuilt.  I liked the way the AFB ran and took my time getting the 4GC to a rebuilder.  About a month later I drove by the yard and there was a notice  from the Sheriff's office that the yard was closed.  Another couple of months later I found out the owner of the yard was wearing an orange jump suit somewhere up the river.  No way to return the AFB.  It's still on the car.  I sold the Rochester.  To bring this to conclusion, the 4GC to AFB was a simple r&r.  Everything bolted up with no modifications or adjustments. A simple plug and play.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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14 hours ago, JanZverina said:

 

   More news mid-next week. If it turns out that it was the first carb being rebuilt improperly or the rebuilder not noticing anything amiss or defective with the castings, I guess I have some options - the first one being a conversation with him regarding at least a partial refund. I've been back to him twice already - the first time when the carb was not getting any fuel whatsoever, and the second visit when I drove the car to his shop under hazardous conditions because of a 40 mph limit and uphill sputtering, and 5 1/2 hours later he was still insisting it wasn't in the carb. 

  Thanks again to all who have offered suggestions, procedures, and encouragement!        

 

 

 

Obviously, I was wrong about the carb. Glad you found the issue.

 

Jon

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Thanks Jon and Ed. Good to know it's a direct replacement.

I'm waiting on the 4GC but I still would like to eventually find an appropriate Carter AFB for my '63 without fear of inheriting someone else's potential issues. Is there a tin tag # or casting # that denotes a '63 or are they generally all the same from 19xx to 19xx on the Riv or a slightly earlier model?

Thanks again. I'll keep everyone updated on any progress later this week.

 

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Check Jon's website, www.thecarburetorshop.com, and you can find the correct AFB carb number in the list.  Look for kits for Buicks by year.  Then by model (Riviera) number. 1963 is 4700. Then by cubic inches.  Or, look in your chassis manual.

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                 All of this sounds to me like the float level was set wrong, i.e. too low.

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  Latest update: The carb shop in LA let us know that the 4GC he had for rebuild failed the on-engine tests and he's still looking into why. So my mechanic suggested we try an Edelbrock 1406 w/ electric choke and now the Riv is running strong and smooth. Picked it up today - drove it on coastal roads and freeway and no issues at all. So... as mentioned I have to have a conversation with the shop that "rebuilt" my 4GC to see if we can come to some agreement on a refund or partial refund. Any suggestions on what's fair? I know some of you are in the repair business and time is $$, but I paid ~$450 plus to get a well-performing carb and that was not the case.

  BTW we used a small adapter so I could retain the original large red air cleaner housing. I always thought its air intake pointed toward the power steering pump but page 3-7 of the factory Chassis Manual is not exactly clear. It says "standard" 4 bbl air cleaners should have the air inlet tube positioned about 15 degrees to the right of the center line of the engine. I take that to mean passenger side.  The text does mention "except Riviera engines" but it's not very clear.

  Thanks, glad to be nearing the end of this project.      

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What are you doing to solve the Dyna-Flow linkage connection???

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I didn't know we had to do anything w/ that linkage. Isn't the Edelbrock basically a Carter design that they took over? RivNut's response up 7 messages in this thread indicated nothing was needed, but maybe that's for a swap between a 4GC and an original AFB.

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1 hour ago, JanZverina said:

  Latest update: The carb shop in LA let us know that the 4GC he had for rebuild failed the on-engine tests and he's still looking into why. So my mechanic suggested we try an Edelbrock 1406 w/ electric choke and now the Riv is running strong and smooth. Picked it up today - drove it on coastal roads and freeway and no issues at all. So... as mentioned I have to have a conversation with the shop that "rebuilt" my 4GC to see if we can come to some agreement on a refund or partial refund. Any suggestions on what's fair? I know some of you are in the repair business and time is $$, but I paid ~$450 plus to get a well-performing carb and that was not the case.

  BTW we used a small adapter so I could retain the original large red air cleaner housing. I always thought its air intake pointed toward the power steering pump but page 3-7 of the factory Chassis Manual is not exactly clear. It says "standard" 4 bbl air cleaners should have the air inlet tube positioned about 15 degrees to the right of the center line of the engine. I take that to mean passenger side.  The text does mention "except Riviera engines" but it's not very clear.

  Thanks, glad to be nearing the end of this project.      

A correct Riviera air cleaner sits as you first described.  Another reason to use a stock carb.  Three are alignment tabs on the base of the air cleaner, that when installed correctly orient the snorkel in the correct position.  What you read is probably correct for the LeSabre, Wildcat, and Electra.

 

Electra, Wildcat, Lesabre

 

images.jpeg.25dc730259fa014904cd6e719d0ff42d.jpeg

 

Riviera

64-Buick-Riviera-Hardtop-Coupe-Dv-09_BC_e01-800.jpg.c2c9803989472001e51e4995db57746e.jpg

 

 

These pictures are of 64s but the colors on the 63 would be the only difference.

 

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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Thanks, Ed. I always thought that was the positions from all the Riview pix, etc. I knew about the alignment tabs but I guess with the new setup one could point the inlet tube to the right, as it was on my '60 Electra. (It's OK to post an Electra pix on the ROA forum, right?)

   

IMG_1650.JPG

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10 hours ago, JanZverina said:

Thanks, Ed. I always thought that was the positions from all the Riview pix, etc. I knew about the alignment tabs but I guess with the new setup one could point the inlet tube to the right, as it was on my '60 Electra. (It's OK to post an Electra pix on the ROA forum, right?)

   

IMG_1650.JPG

It would probably okay to post a picture of the entire car if the rest of it looks as nice as everything in this picture. 

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AHH, a 1960 era Electra with A/C.  A rare one indeed.

 

Yes, what Ed mentioned is for a stock replacement AFB.  The DynaFlow linkage needs to be hooked up to work properly.  Throttle shafts could be swapped from an original carb.  ALSO, the carb. top plate where the choke blade sits can be swapped for an original top plate so the air filter is pointing in the proper direction with the air cleaner tabs.

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I know you posted that the engine is now strong and smooth with the clone; but would highly suggest that if the rebuild shop can figure out what they did incorrectly with the Rochester, you would be better off with it rebuilt than the clone and even a full refund!

 

Jon.

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Jon wrote:

"I know you posted that the engine is now strong and smooth with the clone; but would highly suggest that if the rebuild shop can figure out what they did incorrectly with the Rochester, you would be better off with it rebuilt than the clone and even a full refund!"

Jon.

 

Hi Jon:

 My experience of late, meaning the last 2-3 years as 4GCs are apparently getting thin on the ground, has been that once someone else has worked on them (and most rebuilders can tell, according to my experience), that they're considered "damaged goods" and no one wants to touch them. I'll hold on to the 4GC for sure, and yes, it would be good to find out what the problem was.

 As mentioned earlier in my ROA thread, when at first the rebuilt 4CG wasn't getting any fuel upon re-installation in my '63 Riv, the rebuilder said the 4GC was "over engineered" so he threw out the tiny springs below the floats (that's what he said, I didn't see them myself) and said it should be good to go. That's when all the sputtering and stalling began, and after a 2nd revisit with the carb installed he swore up and down that it wasn't the carb. So after two trips back there to make things right, I'm not confident he's going to make things any better. Still, I plan to let him know that the main issue was indeed the carb despite his protestations.

 

TelRiv says:

 "The DynaFlow linkage needs to be hooked up to work properly.  Throttle shafts could be swapped from an original carb.  ALSO, the carb. top plate where the choke blade sits can be swapped for an original top plate so the air filter is pointing in the proper direction with the air cleaner tabs."

 

I'll take the Riv out for a spin again but all seems to be in order. Using the factory air filter housing is not an issue but I'd like to be able to share some info with my shop if something with the DynaFlow linkage has to be done. I'm not having any drive-ability issues, but I also didn't hammer on the old girl as I drove it home. I was glad that it was pulling like a freight train on inclines and idling well in thicker traffic, which is the new norm in San Diego unless you pick your drive times carefully.   

RivNut Ed wrote:

"It would probably okay to post a picture of the entire (1960 Electra) if the rest of it looks as nice as everything in this picture."

 

I'd be glad to, but it was a 10-footer - very complete and mostly original except for a distant repaint in original colors, and was dead reliable and well cared for by a previous owner in Texas. I sold it in 2015 (to fund the '63 Riv, which to me is a landmark design) to a Finnish collector who owned an import/export business with a port in LA. He sent a local driver and flatbed to San Diego to inspect it and the buyer paid asking price on the spot. Hope he's enjoying it! During my seven-year stewardship it was accepted to the snooty La Jolla CA Concours some years back and drew a lot of interest, much to the chagrin of others. I'll dig out some pix if you want. Like the first-gen Riv, the '60 Electra was somethign else.    

 

Appreciate all your collective the input and continued education!

 

 

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On 11/9/2019 at 11:25 AM, telriv said:

Yes, what Ed mentioned is for a stock replacement AFB.  The DynaFlow linkage needs to be hooked up to work properly.  Throttle shafts could be swapped from an original carb.  ALSO, the carb. top plate where the choke blade sits can be swapped for an original top plate so the air filter is pointing in the proper direction with the air cleaner tabs.

Hi telriv,

  Could you be more specific as to what should specifically be checked for when hooking up the DynaFlow linkage with an Edelbrock1406 or a non-period 4GG/AFB carb?

  I took my Riv out for an extended run last weekend, and while I don't press usually my luck by stomping on the 'GO' pedal of a 56 year-old car too often, it appears to run quite well and my nose is already sensing much reduced fuel vapors in my garage after such a run. Plus I may be getting (slightly) better MPG, although that's not a big priority for me as it's relegated to pleasure cruising and smaller runs. I'm also aware from this forum that its 20-gal tank typically means a 200-mile cruising range, with not much forgiveness.

 

 

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